Blueberries - Varieties, Planting And Care. Gardening, Tall. Photo

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Blueberries - Varieties, Planting And Care. Gardening, Tall. Photo
Blueberries - Varieties, Planting And Care. Gardening, Tall. Photo
Video: Blueberries - Varieties, Planting And Care. Gardening, Tall. Photo
Video: How to grow Blueberries 2023, February
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Blueberries in horticulture are more often called Common blueberries, found in all regions of the Northern Hemisphere with temperate and cold climates, and tall blueberries, originating from North America. The latter species is widely grown as a fruit and ornamental crop. Both of these species belong to the genus Vaccinium of the family Ericaceae. This genus, in addition to the blueberry itself, includes many popular berry plants - lingonberry, cranberry, blueberry.

Common blueberry
Common blueberry

Other common and local names for blueberries (or their berries): water bottle, cabbage roll, pigeon, gonobob, gonobel, gonobe, gonobol, fool, fool, fool, fool, drunk berry, drunkard, drunkard, drunkard, blue grape, titmouse.

On the territory of Russia, one species is found in nature - Common blueberry, but it has not found wide distribution in culture. In the literature, as the Russian version of the name Common blueberry (Vaccinium uliginosum) also occurs: marsh blueberry, marsh blueberry, low-growing blueberry.

In the United States and Canada, several species of blueberry grow in natural habitats, but breeders paid attention to the tall blueberry (corymbose blueberry, or high blueberry, or corymbosum) (Vaccinium corymbosum), and currently in the United States there are 45 of its varieties. Recently, these varieties of garden blueberry have been the focus of attention of Russian amateur gardeners.

Content:

  • Blueberry varieties
  • Soil for garden blueberries
  • Planting garden blueberries
  • Garden blueberry care
  • Reproduction of tall blueberries
  • Blueberry species
  • Blueberry diseases and pests

Blueberry varieties

Unlike wild blueberries, garden (cultivated) fruits contain much more vitamin P and carotene. A beautiful appearance and pleasant sour-sweet taste of relatively large berries, a good harvest (from plants of 6-8 years old - up to 2-2.5 kg) characterize this berry culture.

Ninety years ago, Brooks was selected from a wild corymbose (tall) blueberry in North America. The next year, from another species of low blueberry, another variety of garden blueberries was obtained - Russell, weak-growing, frost-resistant, early maturing. Crossing both varieties gave good results, then the third species was connected - southern blueberry. As a result of crosses, valuable varieties were obtained: Pioner, Kaboti, Katarina, Rubel.

In the Moscow region, the most promising varieties of North American garden blueberries are: Dixie, Jersey, Rankokas, Weymouth. These varieties bear fruit every year, forming large multi-berry clusters, and overwinter satisfactorily. The size of a tall blueberry berry reaches the size of a small-fruited cherry.

Most varieties of garden blueberries can be grown in other areas of the middle lane. They bloom and bear fruit every year. Annual shoots grow from the root collar. The growth of mature branched branches is small. In the first years of life of tall blueberries, only a few small berries are formed on them.

Common blueberry flowering
Common blueberry flowering

Soil for garden blueberries

The soil for tall blueberries is preferable to be breathable, acidic, loose, peaty-sandy. Gardeners who do not take this into account and plant blueberries in heavy clay soil are not satisfied with the growth and development of plants. The optimal level of groundwater standing is 40-60 cm from the ground surface. Subject to gradual and frequent irrigation, groundwater can be much deeper.

The main thing for garden blueberries is the presence of acidic soil (pH in the range of 3.8-5). Favorable soil conditions can be judged by indicator plants such as horsetail, sorrel, mint. Even at a pH of around 6, blueberries grow slowly, not to mention neutral and even more alkaline soil.

If the soil on the site is the most common, that is, not acidic, then 5-6 buckets of soil are removed from the planting pit 0.5-0.6 m deep and 1 m in diameter, the pit is isolated with boards, polyethylene or pieces of tin and filled with sour peat. If there is not enough peat, they add (no more than a third of the total mass) sawdust, wood chips, bark, and even better - partially rotted pine-spruce needles from the nearest forest. Good results are obtained by growing garden blueberries exclusively in a substrate of rotted sawdust. With a thick layer (7-15 cm) of the same sawdust, wood chips or sphagnum moss, it is useful to mulch the soil after planting, which helps to retain moisture and suppresses the development of weeds.

There is another option for acidifying the soil: a year before planting garden blueberries, they put powdered sulfur into it (250 g per 1 m 3 of land) or apply such mineral fertilizers as ammonium sulfate, ammonium nitrate, urea, potassium sulfate, nitroammofosk. The first two are added no more than 20 g for each square meter, the latter - half less. The main thing is not to overdo it with doses.

There are many recipes for planting garden blueberries, but the simplest and cheapest is to bring sawdust, let them pep, lay in the garden with a layer of 40-50 cm, or form a comb and plant blueberry bushes in it after 80-90 cm in a row and after 2 m between the rows.

Common blueberry
Common blueberry

Planting garden blueberries

Tall blueberries are usually sold in small containers filled with peat. Saplings with an open root system take root very poorly. The reason lies in the symbiosis of blueberries with a saprophytic fungus, which helps the plant to absorb necessary nutrients from the soil. Greenhouses often offer tiny plants with non-lignified bluish shoots. Such sissies, when landing in the ground, inevitably freeze at the first serious cold snap. In the spring, of course, instead of dead branches, new ones can grow, but it is better to keep the immature seedlings until the next warm season in the basement at a low above-zero temperature, or, at worst, place them on the lightest windowsill in the room.

If there is a central heating battery under the window, which dries up and overheats the surrounding air, a simple protective screen should be built between it and the plants - from a piece of plywood or cardboard and, if possible, increase the humidity of the air. Garden blueberries that have overwintered indoors are planted at the end of May, when the threat of the last frost has passed. Place it at a distance of one and a half to two meters between plants.

You can successfully grow garden blueberries in a wooden box, barrel, large ceramic or even plastic pot with good drainage from a layer of expanded clay or small pebbles. Very little peat is required for such containers - exactly in terms of their volume. Economical and beautiful. It is no coincidence that abroad graceful plants with bluish foliage, planted in pots, decorate verandas, terraces, loggias. They also put them at the entrance to the house. (True, with such a technology of cultivation in the conditions of central Russia, a small problem arises. For the winter, the container must either be buried in the ground or put into a frost-free room).

Common blueberry bush
Common blueberry bush

Garden blueberry care

When cultivating the soil, it must be borne in mind that blueberries have a superficial root system and are located in the 15-centimeter upper soil layer. Therefore, plants are very responsive to annual peat mulching with a layer of up to 5 cm, nitrogen fertilization and watering. Garden blueberry responds well to the annual early spring formation of the bush: cutting out old branches at the level of the soil surface, cutting out weak shoots, as well as rejuvenation in the crown for perennial wood, sanitary pruning, etc.

With the rejuvenating pruning of old branches for reverse growth, one-year coppice shoots are formed at the very surface of the soil - the so-called formation shoots, the sizes of which reach 0.5-1 m. Branching shoots formed on perennial branches in the crown zone differ slightly in their growth and are equal 9-10 cm. The size of the berries and the yield depend on the cultivated variety.

Reproduction of tall blueberries

Garden blueberries are propagated by seed and vegetative means. During seed propagation, seeds are selected from full-fledged berries harvested from fruitful and healthy bushes. The squeezed seeds are slightly dried and sown in late autumn in pre-prepared, sour peat-filled and fertilized ridges. For spring sowing, seeds are stratified within 3 months. Seeds are sown in grooves to a depth of 1 cm, the bottom of which is slightly compacted with a board. The seeds are covered with a substrate of sand and peat in a ratio of 3: 1. Seeds germinate well at a soil temperature of 23-25 ​​C and a soil moisture of about 40% of the weight of the soil.

Seedling care consists in constant loosening of the soil, weeding, and watering. To match the growth of blueberry seedlings in the second year, starting in spring, they are fed with nitrogen fertilizers. For 2 years, seedlings are grown at the sowing site. Then they are dug up and planted for growing at the school, where they are given a large area of ​​food. The grown seedlings are transplanted to a permanent place in the garden after 1-2 years, but it would be good to conduct a preliminary individual selection of promising seedlings in the school for productivity and other characteristics.

Often, amateur gardeners, finding high-yielding bushes in natural conditions, transplant them into their garden. It is better to transplant root suckers, part of a bush or harvested rhizome cuttings, and not the whole bush. Part of the dug out bush can be cut into separate offshoots with rhizomes 5-7 cm long. Garden blueberries are also propagated by rhizome cuttings, which are harvested late in the fall, after leaf fall, or in early spring. The length of the cutting is from 7 to 15 cm, the diameter - the larger, the faster it forms a growth and a root system.

To improve survival, the cuttings are exposed to positive low temperatures (from 1 to 5 ° C) for a month. Then they are planted in a loose substrate of sand with peat 3: 1 (obliquely) and sprinkled on top with a 5-centimeter layer of the same substrate. With good care, after 2 years, sufficiently developed seedlings grow, they are transplanted to a permanent place in the garden. Vegetatively propagated seedlings begin to bear fruit in the fourth year, seedlings - in the seventh or eighth.

With a significant volume of reproduction of valuable varieties of garden blueberries and in order to increase the multiplication factor, cuttings with green and lignified cuttings are mainly used. When propagated by cuttings, the varieties Blurey, Covill, Herbert, Rankokas, Scammel, Dixie, Rannaya Sinyaya and Bluk-prop (70-97%) take root relatively easily. Berkeley, Atlantic and No. 13 (40-50%) are poorly rooted.

Common blueberry
Common blueberry

Blueberry species

Common blueberry (Vaccinium uliginosum)

Blueberries naturally grow in forests, swampy or stony tundra on poor acidic soils - talus, bog bumps, in the mountains to the mountain tundra belt, in the south in the upper belt of mountains, in the European part of Russia from the Arctic regions to Ukraine, as well as in the alpine zone, the mountains of the Caucasus, the Urals, Siberia and the Far East, rising into the mountains to a height of up to 3 thousand meters above sea level. Within the species, several subspecies are distinguished, each of which grows in its own ecological-geographical area. Protected in reserves.

Blueberries have a very wide ecological range: they can grow in wet swampy soil and in dry areas in the mountains, grows better in illuminated than in shaded areas. More cold-resistant than lingonberry and blueberry, does not suffer from spring frosts. Blueberries are oligotrophs capable of growing in very poor and very acidic soils. Reacts positively to the introduction of superphosphate and the burning of thickets, increasing the yield.

Garden Blueberry (Vaccinium corymbosum)

Originally from North America. Grows in swamps and damp places. At home, this is a full-fledged garden culture: it is bred on industrial plantations, planted on personal plots, near houses. In the northern states of the United States and Canada, blueberries are more popular than black currants. This circumstance is easily explained - the berry is very tasty and beautiful. American blueberries are called tall because they grow up to two meters.

The plant blooms in the third year after planting. The diameter of the berry is from 10 to 25 mm. Harvest in the USA - 10 kg per bush, in Russia, with a shorter cool summer - from 0.5 to 7 kg. Not all foreign varieties are suitable for the middle lane, but mainly of early and middle ripening periods. Late varieties ripen only 30%, unless, of course, they are grown in a greenhouse.

Blueberry tall, or Blueberry tall, or Berry corymbus
Blueberry tall, or Blueberry tall, or Berry corymbus

Covilla Blueberry (Vaccinium covilleanum)

Garden blueberries are obtained as a result of hybridization of three North American blueberry species and are grown on industrial plantations with the aim of obtaining berries almost all over the world, including Russia. Currently, there are more than 100 varieties of blueberries of various heights and different ripening periods. It is a perennial and long-lived deciduous shrub with a height of 0.7 to 2.5 m (depending on the variety), with large, 1.5-2.2 cm in diameter, very tasty sweet and sour blue berries collected in bunches.

Harvest from one bush from 2 to 8 kg. It grows well both in the sun and in partial shade, but bears fruit abundantly only in good light. In addition to a heather garden, it can be planted as an undergrowth under tall coniferous trees, and also used for hedges. Differs in good winter hardiness, but in severe snowless winters without shelter it can freeze slightly.

Blueberry Covilla
Blueberry Covilla

Blueberry diseases and pests

In all countries where tall garden blueberries are cultivated, shoot burn (stem cancer) caused by the fungus Godronia cassandrae (imperfect stage - Fusicoccum putrefaciens Shear) is considered the main disease. The disease causes the death of young plants and the death of individual shoots in older ones, as well as a significant decrease in yield. The first signs of the disease appear in winter, most often in the last growths. In the zone of leaf scars and on the shoots themselves, small reddish specks appear, which then increase in size, become oval, chestnut brown, ring the shoot and cause it to die off.

On older shoots, slowly expanding ulcers are formed, covered with exfoliated bark. The leaves of diseased plants acquire a bright reddish-brown color long before the autumn change in leaf color. In summer, the mushroom forms round brown spots on the leaves with a bright crimson-red halo. In order to combat the disease, first of all, the establishment of plantations in areas with excessive moisture, as well as the introduction of too high doses of nitrogen fertilizers, is avoided. In addition, the affected shoots are constantly pruned and burned.

If you do not carry out timely observations and control of diseases and pests, they can severely damage the bushes of garden blueberries and lead to a significant decrease in yield. On blueberries, diseases caused by parasitic fungi and viruses are distinguished. About 70 species of fungi parasitizing blueberries and cranberries were recorded.

Of these, the most harmful to garden blueberries are:

  • Godronia cassandrae - Causes a disease called stem cancer
  • Septoria albopunctata - Causes leaf spot
  • Phyllostictina vaccinii - severely damages berries
  • Gleocercospora inconspicua - causes mottling on leaves
  • Monilinia vaccinii - causes curling of young shoots and flowers, as well as mummification of berries
  • Microsphaera ami (mildew) - Causes white bloom on leaf surfaces
  • Pucciniastrum myrtylli (rust) - develops in the form of epiphytoties and causes leaves to fall prematurely
  • Pucciniastrum goeppertianum - summons the "witch's broom"
  • Phylospora corticus - causative agent of stem cancer
  • Phomopsis vacinii - causes the death of branches
  • Botritys cinerea - affects flowers, fruits and leaves in intermittent foggy weather
  • Exobasiduum vaccinii - causes hypertrophy and bright red color of infected flowers, fruits and leaves

Measures to combat the listed causative agents of fungal diseases - treatment with existing fungicides during the growing season.

Of the viral diseases, the following are noted:

  • viral dwarfism - causes dwarf bushes and the formation of small yellow leaves in summer
  • filamentous branches - causes red streaks on young branches
  • red ring spot - red ring spots appear on older leaves. One of the most dangerous blueberry diseases in the USA
  • necrotic annular leaf spot - causes chlorotic spots, in the place of which holes are then formed, greatly weakens growth and promotes drying of branches
  • mosaic - the leaves acquire a yellowish mosaic color
  • The filamentous virus is one of the most dangerous blueberry diseases in Michigan. The latent period lasts about 4 years, then the growth of plants slows down, the color of the leaves changes, stripes resembling laces appear on the shoots. The difficulty of detecting this disease threatens blueberry production in Michigan and more generally in the United States.

Measures to combat viral diseases: the destruction of diseased plants and the burning of infected areas, as well as the selection of varieties that are resistant to the disease.

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